How Come It’s Only Called Awful When We Do It ?

This morning most of us woke up to horrible news about an American soldier who went on a rampage and killed a number of Afghan civilians. It was a horrible incident, and that soldier will be dealt with by the American military. The purposeful killing of civilians is never acceptable. There are some doubts as to the details of what actually happened–there was an awful lot of killing for one person, why wasn’t he stopped after the first house or so, etc. However, it was an awful incident, and those responsible for it will be dealt with.

But wait a minute. Robert Spencer posted an article at Front Page Magazine today pointing out a rather obvious double standard. In regard to this incident President Karzai has stated, “This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven.”

The article points out:

It is noteworthy, however, that in the riots and rage that followed the discovery of the burned Qur’ans at Bagram Airfield, Afghan Muslims have murdered numerous civilians. Just last Monday, a jihad-martyrdom suicide bomber murdered at least two civilians at the gates of the airfield. Thirty people have now been killed in protests over the burning of the Qur’ans, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that Obama and other American officials have apologized repeatedly, profusely, and abjectly for the burning of the Muslim holy book.

There was no call for the arrest and prosecution of those who murdered Americans and civilians after the Koran-burning incident.

The article further points out:

The U.S. soldier’s mass murder of Afghan civilians Sunday was an enormous crime. But so was the murder of American civilians by Qur’an-Rage rioters. So also is the ongoing phenomenon of Afghan military trainees turning on the U.S. and NATO military personnel who are training them and murdering them – which in recent months has been happening with increasing frequency in Afghanistan, with no murmur of apology from Karzai or anyone else.

It’s time to hold the Afghan soldiers who turn their guns on Americans to the same standard as the American soldier who murdered Afghans over the weekend.

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This Is Not Something America Should Be Supporting In Any Way

Chief Justice Shinwani from the Supreme Court ...

Image via Wikipedia

I probably would not qualify as a feminist by today’s standards. I believe women should be able to do any job they are qualified for and should be paid equally for their work, but the current definition of feminism has left that concept far behind. However, I have very strong ideas about how women should be treated. Some of those ideas come from spending part of my childhood in the American south, where chivalry and manners can still be found. Thus, I was very disturbed when I read the following article.

The Toronto Star posted an article today about recent comments by President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.

The article reports:

In remarks made Tuesday, Karzai backed a “code of conduct” written by the Ulema Council of 150 leading Muslim clerics. It could dramatically restrict women’s daily lives and threaten a return to the dark days of Taliban rule.

“Men are fundamental and women are secondary,” the council said in its statement released last week, and later published on Karzai’s own website.

…It says women should not travel without a male guardian or mingle with men in public places such as schools, offices or markets. It also allows wife-beating in the case of a “sharia-compliant” reason, although it rejects forced marriage and the bartering of women to settle disputes.

In Kabul, Karzai said that the council had not put “any limitations” on women, and that it was only stating “the sharia law of all Muslims and all Afghans.” But some Muslim scholars have disputed the clerics’ strict interpretation.

This was what Afghanistan was like under the Taliban. I remember the joy when people took out their radios and danced when the American troops arrived. Have the people of Afghanistan forgotten their own recent past?

The article further reports:

Before the 2001 invasion, Afghan women were confined to their homes and forced to wear burkas. Girls were not allowed to go to school, and females could not get medical attention from male doctors.

Since then women have made large strides, returning to work and school, starting businesses and taking part in the political process. But their lives are frequently at risk, and have become more difficult as security has frayed in recent months.

“Sixty-five per cent of the population is under the age of 25, and young women are not prepared to take it any more,” says Toronto author and journalist Sally Armstrong, who has written on Afghan women’s rights. “They are brave, and they march in the street. The message is ‘Karzai must go.’”

Karzai has been backtracking on women’s rights in recent years, as Western countries began to roll up their military operations. By 2014, most will have left the country, although they have pledged to continue support for its development.

President Karzai is hedging his bets because foreign forces are leaving his country, and he is faced with making friends with the Taliban or being literally left hanging. The mistake made early in our dealings with Afghanistan was allowing Sharia Law to be written into the country’s constitution. Until their constitution changes, Afghanistan will never truly be a free country.


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